Patrick Cordue, the stock assessment author of the 2014 New Zealand orange roughy assessments, reflects on how the science and management of New Zealand’s orange roughy fisheries have advanced in the last two decades.
There has never been a more urgent time for seafood businesses and fishing nations to make a commitment to sustainability. The world’s oceans are in trouble, with marine life plummeting and the people who are dependent on the sea for income and food left increasingly vulnerable. Data shows populations of fish and other marine vertebrates, including marine mammals, reptiles and birds have halved since 1970.
I cannot over emphasise the importance of our oceans. Not only do they provide a vital source of protein, a playground for recreation and our first line of defence against climate change, it is estimated that some one billion people rely on the oceans for their livelihood.
A new analysis of global fish catch published this week by scientists at the University of British Colombia serves as a timely reminder of the contribution that fishing makes to food security and the potential it has to damage marine ecosystems if not managed effectively.
The findings make a strong case for the need for sustainability and good management of our oceans resources. Something that the MSC program is tackling across the world.